Thursday, January 20, 2011

Essays, Life and more in Italy

The statue at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery (our "new" since August home) .  It perfectly shows the brotherhood of soldiers serving and fighting side by side.

This is the rose garden to the right of the memorial where the previous picture was taken.  When the roses are blooming this is a beautiful and peaceful place to reflect on those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Softball in Italy!  The cemetery crew have a team called the Minas Vagantes and Mike happily joined when we arrived.  These are also the baseball fields where Michael practices and plays with the Nettuno Lions.

Kristen borrowed Mike's Nettuno hat to wear to his game over her Christmas break from college.

13th Birthday Celebration Part I so Kristen could be part of it before she went back to the States...  Michael is now officially a teenager!

On the subject of essays, Michael was assigned an essay of Advantages/ Disadvantages.  The most obvious subject we came up with was the discussion of homeschooling vs. attending the American School in Rome.  It's one of those topics we've been discussing since the new assistant who is set to arrive at the beginning of March has a 9 yr old child who they'd like to attend that school.  We've also considered this possibility but the commute from Nettuno/Lavinio to AOSR which involve getting up at 5:30am, taking the 6:20am train to Rome/Termini, taking a school bus and then arriving in time for class followed by the same reverse course arriving back home after 5pm (and then dinner, homework and bed).   I've described life as a Calvert homeschooler (which is very do-able by the way) and they still prefer a school with other students to provide friends for their child.  I so understand that desire!  Michael has a great time playing on his XBox and StarTrek Online but having a real friend right there to play with would be so much better!  However, school time, as they get older, leaves very little extra time for "playing" or socializing since classes are structured and talking to friends isn't meant to happen there... Plus lunch breaks and "recess" are being shortened to take advantage of as much time as possible for teaching (to the standardized tests...) so school is really not the place to think you will have much time for friends.  We are lucky that an American who lives close by has a 13 yr old son.  We plan to get them together very soon.  Plus, we're hoping to have a get together with all of the Americans who live close by to enjoy each other's company.  I bet pizza or pasta will definitely play a large role in this get together!

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